Friday, November 12, 2010

Want to be considered a serious RPG publisher? Then you have to print products…

Now I have said for YEARS that you don’t have to go into print. You can do very well just being a PDF publisher and making a good amount of money. This statement is completely 100% TRUE! You can make a few thousands of dollars doing this. That is not bad money in any way shape of form. But if you want to be larger than a one- or two-person business and be taken serious, you need to go to print. I am not talking about Print-On-Demand (POD); I mean actual printed books to sell at retail gaming locations. You have to find a printer who does this work, get a quote, find out how you are going to get the money to get this product printed, get the product actually printed and sent to you, get distributors to carry you, get retailers to carry your product and get customers to purchase it. Print is RISKY! Lots of money eating risk. Taking the PDF route is less risky BUT is a good way to “test the waters” to see if people are interested in your product.

Most large RPG companies sell PDF versions of their product to help keep their cost down recouping some of their money they initially put out for writers, artists, editors and such. You sell a PDF for $10.00, you take 70% of the sale (RPGNow, DriveThruRPG, e23 or Paizo will take the remaining 30%. This percentage number is different for each one of these websites. This is just an example) which is $7. If you could sell 200 of the product, that’s an EXTRA $1,400 you just generated money. At three cents a word for a writer that is a little over 46,000 words you paid for OR a nice down payment on a Wayne Reynold’s cover (If the quote Wayne gave me for the NeoExodus: A House Divided is still valid). If you have already done the writing or art on the cheap (shameless plug for Image Portfolio) or by yourself this could be used on that printing bill you will get taking this product to print. I just got a quote from several printers on a 48 page book that is roughly $1.10 a book (including shipping) for 3,000 units for a total of $3,300. Now that $1,400 you sold as a PDF now comes in handy. And you only need to find $1,900 to cover the rest. Some of you are thinking that $1,900 might as well be one million dollars. So what do you do? Let me tell you what to do…

First got to this web site, Prosper.com. Read what they do (I’m not telling you what they do, If you are too lazy to read then you don’t deserve to get the money) and act accordingly. Why am I suggesting them over another site? I have gotten and paid off two loans with them already. I also have loaned out money using Prosper.com on over 20 different loans and made over 13% on the money I invested. I know Prosper.com actually works. The interest percentage you pay through Prosper.com will be less than what you pay if you put it on a credit card (as long as you have decent credit rating). If you need a loan for $3,600 and you paid 15% interest, your pay a monthly payments for $124.80 for 36 months at Prosper.com. If you print the 3,000 units with a $12.99 retail price (which mean you sell at 55% off for $5.84) you only need to sell 617 to pay for the print cost/loan off. That would leave you with 2383 to sell and if you sell all of the remaining units you would make $13,916.72. But the real tough question is can you sell the 617 units to break even? If you can’t, forget running a RPG company you aren’t build for this. Go do something else as a business. But if you can, then the next question is, what are you waiting for? Talk to you later…